Warehouse’s Tindall grabs 35% stake in thedeal.co.nz website

Companies Office records show Tindall's investment company acquired 800,000 shares in Thedeal this month

Stephen Tindall, founder of The Warehouse, has taken a 35% stake in Thedeal Ltd, the company behind online shopping website thedeal.co.nz.

Companies Office records show Tindall’s investment company, K One W One Ltd, acquired 800,000 shares in Thedeal this month. However, Tindall was not prepared to comment on the investment.

“Thanks but no thanks,” his spokeswoman said when Computerworld sought an interview, adding that Tindall prefers not to talk about his private investments.

The website is similar in concept to Ferrit and works in partnership with retailers and importers, but with an emphasis on discounted, out-of-season or imperfect brand goods. It promises to free-up capital in obsolete stock at a low cost, remove the perception of a clearance or discount sale, improve stock turnaround and inventory, and increase traffic to partner sites, among other benefits.

Thedeal.co.nz was founded by Auckland-based distributors Paul and Kelly O’Shannessey, owners of importer and distributor Anthony Trading.

Last year, around the time of the site’s launch, Kelly O’Shannessey indicated that she had already been approached by potential investors.

“We help you deal more effectively with overstocks,” the site says. “This is a new channel and it will also increase your existing customer reach.”

Computerworld called Thedeal last week, only to be told repeatedly that both of founders were tied up in meetings.

Late last year, Paul O’Shannessey said, despite interest from potential investors, that he and his wife were unlikely to sell. But, at the same time, he acknowledged they would need additional capital this year. The company said it hoped to have new shareholders in place by early 2007.

At launch, the company announced Mark Huirua, a former Goldman Sachs JBWere executive, then with Grant Thornton, was advising on the company’s capital structure. Bill Fulford, founder of the Lighting Direct retail chain, was also advising the company.

In addition, Air New Zealand’s chief executive, Rob Fyfe, and his wife, Donna, were also involved. The company announced that Donna Fyfe, who is a former head of marketing and strategy for Gen-i, had joined Thedeal’s board.

Another board addition was Alistair Helm, the former general manager of Hoyts cinemas who was then heading up Realenz, the Real Estate Institute’s website.

A company search last week, however, shows both Helm and Fyfe resigned from the board in June. The sole directors now listed are the O’Shannesseys.

Tindall’s K One W One investment vehicle has invested in over 30 companies, according to Companies Office records.

They include several venture capital firms. In ICT, it has stakes in Deep Video Imaging (display technology), Esphion (network data protection), Phitek (headphones), Tomizone (networking), and Xsol (business-process mapping), among others.

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